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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why I Have a Blackened Banana and Coffee Beans in My Car-- or Living with a Drug Dog Sense of Smell

I am a freak.

Not in a fun, funky way- perverts.

I have a sense of smell that can only be explained by a prior life as a drug dog.  I'm not kidding, either.  I am the person who will walk by someone in the grocery store and go "Mmmm.... Ivory soap..."  I also have the misfortune of gagging every time I walk past a dumpster near a restaurant.

I have been known to search for hours in our refrigerator playing a game that I have labeled "What's that smell?"  The furry lemon will be found, at all costs.  My husband used to freak out if the milk was past its due date; now he knows to give it to me to sniff.  Regardless of the date- before or after-- I can tell within 6 inches of my nose if it's bad.  Expiration dates are for fools.

When I was pregnant, my sense of smell became more heightened.  For most people, this might not be a big issue.  Sadly, I eat a lot of fish.  Fish does not general have a great smell.  Throw in my bizarre "talent" and I couldn't go near it the entire time I was pregnant.  And we're not talking bad fish-- we're talking fish that no one else could even remotely think had any smell.  It sucked.  I joked that I could sit on the couch and tell you what the ten previous people who sat there had had for lunch last Tuesday.

Which brings me to the interesting situation that I have now.

Yes, there is a blackened banana and a bag of coffee beans in my car.

About 3 weeks ago, through little fault of her own, my beautiful daughter spilled a GIANT cup of chocolate milk with whipped cream on it.  Because I have leather seats to prevent the incidents that frequented my previous car's cloth seats, it all nicely poured down in between the seat in the back of the car.  This is an important detail.

It was her turn for snack day so we decided to get cutie oranges.  To spice them up, we thought it would be fun to draw faces on them.  That morning, while her brother had choir practice before school, we went to Albertson's, bought our cuties and Sharpies and drew faces on them at the Starbucks inside the store.  Samantha the barista even helped.  We were having so much fun that Zoe forgot to drink the chocolate milk that Samantha made for her-- with extra whipped cream.

In a decision that I now regret (and being cheap), I told her to take it to the car and drink it on the way to school.

We were both so excited about her oranges (they were adorable, by the way), that we jumped out of the car at her school.  I didn't realize our fatal error-- she didn't put the milk in the cupholder.  She had it on the seat next to her.  When she grabbed her school bag, it tipped over. I have covered parking at work and it wasn't too terribly hot.

When I went to get the kids after school, we got back in the car and I saw the milk.  I asked her "Was it empty or full when it spilled?"  And she said "It was empty."  I thought, no biggie, I'll wipe it up, it must have just been the cup that smelled.  At this point, it was a slight, lingering funk.

The next morning we all jumped into the car and about died.

I should also note that both Skip and Zoe have inherited my gift- Skip more so.

The car smelled like ass.

It had warmed up.  I then asked Zoe how much milk had REALLY been in the cup...

"Well, I never drank any of it."

12 ounces of curdled milk had now worked their way into the carpet underneath the non-removable back seat.

She said she lied because she didn't want me to get mad.  I told her now I was mad that she had lied.  I also pointed out that I wasn't mad at her yesterday-- I had told her she could take the milk into the car.  She wasn't in trouble for spilling it.  It happens- that's why I don't usually let her do it (and to my credit, I really hadn't gotten mad).  I was now, however, FURIOUS.  I would have gotten the car detailed right then, if I had known.  This is the desert.  It gets warm.  Smells linger.  Thoughts of selling my car entered my mind.  It was THAT bad.

I dropped them off at school (sun roof open, windows down) and tried to figure out a way to get the smell out.  Before we left the house, I doused the car with Febreze.  I went back home and dumped carpet freshener down the crack of the seat, hoping to absorb it.

I called my car guy who I hadn't been using due to our new Bean Family Austerity Measures and he couldn't get there until Saturday.  I had hoped the smell would diminish.  It grew.  By the time he finished he looked like HE was going to puke.

And it still stunk.  Albeit a little less. He suggested dryer sheets in the cracks of the seats.  Excellent.  But then it smelled more like dryer sheets and ass.  Kinda like when people cover up BO with perfume.

Then my son left his shoes in my car.  Their stench seemed to have offset the spoiled milk smell.  But clearly not a better option.

Then I had an idea.... I've left fruit in the car only to come out after work and have my car smell like pie.  I like pie.

So I put the banana in.

Not much of an effect.

Then I added the coffee beans.  When you wine taste or smell perfumes, they give you coffee beans to neutralize and clear your palate.  Must be a reason.

And today, after nearly 3 weeks of rancid car stench,  my car smelled like a breakfast cafe- a mix of bananas and coffee with a hint of creamer.

So yes, that is why, in my car as I type, there is a blackened banana and a bag of coffee beans.  Just in case you were wondering.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

This story *almost* makes me thankful for the seat-eating rat in our car...thoughts of selling entered my mind as well!!